President Bush signed a jobs bill last Friday that included the creation of a tax credit for biodiesel fuel. The credit will help biodiesel be competitive in the fuel marketplace. With the credit, the 2 percent blend of biodiesel will cost about the same as unblended diesel fuel. The incentive is expected to increase biodiesel demand from an estimated 30 million gallons in fiscal year 2004 to at least 124 million gallons per year, based on a United States Department of Agriculture study. Biodiesel burns cleaner than petroleum-based diesel. It is made from renewable resources like soybeans and other natural fats and oils, grown here in the United States. It works in any diesel engine with few or no modifications. It is most commonly blended with petroleum diesel at 20 percent. Biodiesel offers similar fuel economy, horsepower and torque to petroleum diesel while reducing carbon dioxide by 78 percent compared to petroleum diesel, according to the National Biodiesel Board. More than 400 major fleets use biodiesel commercially nationwide. About 300 retail filling stations make biodiesel available to the public.
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